Weekly Capsule Reviews: 21/05/2017


This week: Perfume Genius, Kasabian, Harry Styles, Slowdive, Ásgeir

Older releases/Classics: Pavement

Perfume Genius: No Shape [Matador, 05/05/2017]

Always as strong as he thinks he isn’t, Mike Hadreas pulls off a more experimental set here; more of a concept of benevolence in stranded destitute over the queer malcontent (still holding the former close, however). It’s percussive and anthemic from the off and his willingness to adapt the tone and pitch of his vocals to match the overall theme of each track shows his ability in presentation over anything else. (7/10)

Kasabian: For Crying Out Loud [Columbia/Sony, 05/05/2017]

Don’t be fooled by these Jack the Lads and their hype of previous affair. Perfect for the cool kids in the corner and indie scenesters alike, they venture on a path of diversity of sound—one of their most grooved-based tracks in “Are You Looking for Action?” and one of their most dance-friendly tracks in “Wasted”. The jocks will still huddle to this here poorly-construed Primal Scream pastiche. But it takes a special kind of bland to make it this jaded. (6/10)

Harry Styles: Harry Styles [Erskine/Columbia, 12/05/2017]

Everything I was expecting—maturity to the core… that’s it. Most of these tracks pack a punch—be they in the cock-rock guitar or the high notes that represent his morph from adolescent heart-throb to arena-rocking fawner—which facilitates the transition from COP (child-oriented pop) to AOR. (6/10)

Slowdive: Slowdive [Dead Oceans, 05/05/2017]

Sometimes I can only hope against hope that the stuff Slowdive has inspired, more so than anything else, wasn’t an attempt to cast their despondent nature onto their original fan base nearly three decades later. What has resulted in my rapid loss of optimism is the influx of ersatz and non-ersatz lugubriousness from the monsters of now—The xx, etc.—(more ersatz, really). Now in step the seminal swooners of sorrow with this baseless set of eight tracks—”Go Get It” partially blew me away (and still partially is)—where their now no-longer-teens devotees can attempt to bask in their old adolescent ways in this first album release in twenty-two years directly from the original architects but detached from the aforesaid monsters. After one listen, the no-longer-teens devotees will clamber back to 1991, don’t you worry. Because being a teen once is enough. And, I don’t know, it might have been better being one back then, too. (5/10)

Ásgeir: Afterglow [One Little Indian, 05/05/2017]

James Blake has everything on this. A dime a dozen. And a shabby, airheaded dime at that. (4/10)

Older releases/Classics

Pavement: Slanted and Enchanted [Matador, 20/04/1992]

Their “noise” is so infectious it transitions to musicianship-with-prose as easily as their chord progressions. Minimum of cost, minimum of fuss, maximum wordage. Don’t believe me on the prose and words? “Conduit for Sale!” is the greatest example of a shit landlord that has ever accessed the musical discipline. And I couldn’t give a flying fuck if it’s a Fall rip. (9/10)


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